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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
December 10, 2014     Walsh County Press
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December 10, 2014

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THE WALSH COUNTY OMMUNITY PRESS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014 , Page 5 PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Polar Communications has announced that Arthur Companies of Arthur, ND is the first customer using gi- gabit Internet serfice in North Dakota. The gigabit service has in- creased their speed to 1000/1000Mpbs, which is 100 times faster than the average speed in the U.S. today. "We are excited to not only have the capability of this speed for the efficiency of our business but also to partner with Polar Communica- tions and the community of Arthur to promote this caliber of technol- ogy." said Brooks Burgum, CEO of Arthur Companies. This is the first service of its kind in the state, making Arthur the first Gigabit community in North Dako- ta. Arthur native, Doug Burgum, is- sued a challenge to the Information Technology Council of North Dako- ta in October to encourage access of affordable, state-of-the-art IT serv- ices for all North Dakotans. "Being a part of this deployment of speeds empowers economic growth and development for busi- nesses and residents in Arthur and the surrounding communities," said Greg Nelson, Mayor of Arthur. "Arthur Companies is a great choice to pioneer this service in our com- munity and state." Since 2008, Polar Communica- tions has been building its fiber net- work and will complete the project by the end of 2015. The company believes that being rural should not mean being disconnected. These efforts can also be attributed to the many rural telecommunications companies across North Dakota that continue to build their fiber net- works making North Dakota one of the most connected states in the na- tion. We anticipate other North Dakota rural telecommunications companies will also soon be offer- ing gigabit broadband services. "The ability to deliver the choice of gigabit speeds to our customers is due to the continued work and dedication of our employees," said David Dunning, CEO of Polar Communications. "We are starting in Arthur, but not stopping there. By the end of 2015, all of our customers will have gigabit broadband options from our complete fiber network." A gigabit celebration will be held mid-December in Arthur. Agproducers: FARGO, N.D. -- Agricultural producers should do tax planning before the end of the year based on the information known at this time. Traditionally, producers try to do tax planning to limit their tax liability. "In tax planning, it is best to start with year-t odate income,and ex- penses and estimate them for there- mainder of the year," says Ron Haugen, North Dakota State Uni- from damaged crops would be in- cluded in a tax year following the year of the damage. A livestock income deferral is available for those who had a forced sale of livestock because of a weath- er-related disaster.' Here is what producers tan'do before the end of the year to limit their current tax liability: FARGO. N.D. -- The annual Harvest Bowl took place Nov. 21, 22 in Fargo. Honored were out- standing agriculturists from all counties across North Dakota and several in western Minnesota. Among those honored were area farmers from Adams, St. Thomas, and Edmore. Walsh County honorees were Jeffery and Nancy Boe of Adams, N.D. Jeffery and Nancy Boe operate a grain farm near Adams. They use minimum-tillage and variable-rate applications to grow wheat, bar-. ley, canola and soybeans. Jeffery has an associate degree in archi- tecture. He serves on the Farmers Union Oil Co. board, township board and church council. He was a member of the Walsh County Crop Improvement Association. Nancy is employed as a nurse. She also serves as township clerk. Nancy has been a 4-H club leader, emergency medical technician and a member of the community de- velopment corporation. Jeffery and Nancy have four children. Pembina County honorees were Robert and Susan Green of St. Thomas. Robert and Susan Green operate a fourth-generation family farm near St. Thomas. They grow sugar beets, wheat, dry beans and soy- beans. Robert graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in biology and completed a class on corporate boards at Har- vard Business School. He is a di- rector for American Crystal Sugar Co. and the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, and was a director for the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. Robert has been active in many community organizations, ir/clud, ing St. Thomas Booster Club, Fire Protection District, North Valley Water District, St. Thomas City Council and Park Board, North Dakota and Pembina County Farm Bureau, and United Methodist Susan earned her degree in ed- ucation ,from the University of North Dakota and recently retired She is a member of a homemakers group and active member of St. Thomas Methodist Church, serv- ing as pianist and Sunday school teacher. Robert and Susan have two children. Ramsey County honorees were Dale and Geri Newgard of Ed- more, N.D. Dale and Geri Newgard operate a family farm near Edmore. They grOW COrn, soybeahs and small grains using conventional methods. Dale grad- uated from Mayville State College and taught for a few years before re- turning home to farm full time. He also had a grain hauling and cus- tom harvesting business, was a seed salesman and obtained his in- surance license. Dale served on nu- merous boards, including the Ed- more School, Edmore Rest Home and Concordia Lutheran Church boards, and Edmore Community Club. He also was in charge of the summer recreation program for many years. Geri obtained her cos- metology license from Josefs School of Hair Design in Grand Forks. She has worked as a cos- metologist and school cook, and at the Main Street Cafe in addition to having duties on the farm. Geri helped with the summer recreation program, annlml Fourth of July cel- ebration, New Year's Eve parties and Edmore Centennial Steering Committee, and taught CCD. Dale and Geri have two children. Also at the event, Jerry Dean, a fourth-generation rancher and pro- ducer from McKenzie, N.D., re- cieved the 2014 Agribusiness award. He and his family operate Black Leg Ranch, a large ranching, farming, hunting and agritourism operation. He is a respected leader and advocate for North Dakota agriculture. He has spent countless hours at the North Dakota Legisla- Photos:Submitted ture and U.S. Congress to help .... ,, - .... spread agriculture's message Top: Waish County honorees Jeffery and Nancy with N U Pres, z.-. . " ";'vid ident Dean BresoanL M ddle: Pembma unt h nor rt and uals who h ve distinguished them- Susan Green with NDSU President Dean Breseiani. Bottom: Ramsay selves in the field of agriculture County honorees Dale and Gerri Newgardn with NDSU President Dean and NJsiness in North Dakota and versity Extension Service farm economist. "Do not forget any in- come that was deferred to 2014 from a previous year. "Depreciation also needs to be es- timated," he says. "It is best to try to spread out income and expenses so producers don't have abnormal- ly high or low income or expenses in any one year. However, caution should be used in deferring too much income into future years be- cause it may push you into a high- er tax bracket." These are items to note for plan- ning 2014 tax returns: The section 179 expense election is at $25,000 for 2014 unless Con- gress acts. The section 179 ex- pense generally allows producers to deduct up to $25,000 of new or used machinery or equipment purchased in the tax year. There is a dollar- for-dollar phase-out for purchases above $200,000. This is a significant drop from $500,000 in 2013. At this time, Congress is considering rein- stating the $500,000 amount. The additional first-year bonus depreciation has expired. At this time, Congress is considering rein- stating this provision, Income averaging can be used by producers to spread the tax liabili- ty to lower income tax brackets in the three previous years. This is done on schedule J. North Dakota farm- ers who elect to use income aver- Prepay farm expenses. Feed, fertilizer, seed and similar expens- es can be prepaid. Typically, dis- counts are received by paying for these expenses in the fall. Produc- ers can deduct prepaid expenses that do not exceed 50 percent of their other deductible farm expenses. Pay real estate taxes or interest. Paying taxes or interest can be done before the end of the year to increase 2014 expenses. Defer income to 2015. Crop and livestock sales can be deferred un- til the next year by using a deferred payment contract. Most grain ele- vators or sales barns will defer sales until the next tax year. Pro- ducers should be aware that they are at risk if the business becomes in- solvent before the check is received and cashed. Purchase machinery or equip- ment. Machinery or equipment pur- chases can be made before the end of the year to get a depreciation or 179 expense deduction in 2014. Contribute to a retirement plan such as a simplified employee pen- sion plan, savings incentive match plan for employees, individual re- tirement account or a solo 401K. Information on agricultural top- ics can be found in the Farmers Tax Guide, Publication 225. It can be ob- tained at any IRS office or can be or- dered by calling (800) 829-3676. aging for federal purposes also may use Foam ND 1FA (income av- Any questions about these topics eraging) for North Dakota income should be addressed tO your tax pro tax calculations, fessional or the IRS at (800) 829- Crop insurance proceeds and government crop disaster payments can be deferred to the next tax year ifa producer is a cash-basis taxpayer and can show that normally income 1040 or North Dakota income tax questions can be addressed to the North Dakota Tax Department at (877) 328-7088 or from teaching special education. Breseiani. beyond. PARK RIVER, N.D. -- The fifth annual Ecumenical Commu- nity Christmas Event was held Monday, Dec. 1 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Park River. The event consisted of a din- ner, songs, prayers, gift exchange and a special invitation to have a presentation given by Jan Bjork and Elaine Broker, Walsh County advocates for the Sunshine Hos- pitality Home being built in Grand Forks behind the Altu Hos- pital in the near future. There were over 100 in attendance and was a very special time of reflec- tion and enjoyment this time of year. The Ecumenical event is held the first Monday in Decem- ber annually. The Sunshine Hospitality Home will be a place for patients and their families, affected by critical illnesses, diseases and in- juries, who must travel to fulfill their healthcare needs. It was a project decided upon by the Sun- shine Memorial Foundation as a need in the Grand Forks area. The Sunshine Memorial Foundation will donate the hospitality house as a gift to the Altru Health Foun- dation following fundraising, building, and the creation of an endowment fund for the home. For more information please visit puter Programs") which offers a "Free Strategic Social Security Planner" but requires Microsoft Excel to use it. Or, if you don't mind spending a little money, there are higher- level services you can use like Maximize My Social Security (, which charges $40 for their report, and takes into account the thou- sands of different factors and combinations to help you maxi- mize your benefits. And Social Security Solutions (, 866- t different rules and claiming strate- gies that can affect your benefits, and some of them can crunch hundreds of calculations to com- pare your benefits under various scenarios and different ages to help you figure out the best time to start claiming. Some of the best free tools are AARP's Social Security Calcula- tor ( fits); SSAnalyze which is offered by Bedrock Capital Management (; and Analyze Now (ana- - click on "Corn- ,1 Photo: Submitted Above: (bR) Walsh County Advocate Jan Bjork, Cheryl Welch, Audrey Blair, Lode Clemetson, Patty Dahlen, COnnie Johnson, Marcia Johnson, Waish COunty Advocate Elaine Broker, (in sleigh) Susan Phelps and Sheryl Kjelland. 762-7526), which offers several levels of service (ranging between $20 and $250) including their $125 "Advised" plan that runs multiple calculations and com- parisons, recommends a best course of action in a detailed re- port, and gives you a one-on-one session with a Social Security specialist over the phone to discuss the report and ask questions. Send your senior questions to." Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Savvyseniororg. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author qf "The Savvy sen- ior'" book \ \ 3